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Enterprise mobility demands an innovative approach to IT organization

Jon Kuhn, director of product management, Enterprise Mobility Group, Symantec | April 26, 2013
Perhaps nowhere else in IT is the opportunity to innovate as rich as it is with enterprise mobility. But most enterprises are trying to implement modern mobility strategies using existing IT organizational structures.

Here are some recommendations for developing and operating an enterprise mobility group:

* First, think strategically when building the organizational model. An ad hoc enterprise mobility team is not the answer and will only result in partial success. An organizational model for the team should include details on how to resource the group and the specific mandate or charter it will operate under. In addition, it should cover the particulars of the technology and tools -- such as mobile device management and mobile application management -- that should be used, how to segment the user base and identify the needs of each segment, how to implement scalable solutions, how to plan for centralized management, and how to phase in integration with existing technology and networks.

* Next, line of business decision makers across the company should be involved. To make an enterprise mobility team successful, business stakeholders must be given direct access to the group's leadership. Doing so will ensure the policies and strategies the team develops and implements are in line with what the LOB folks actually need. Many companies struggle to achieve the full return on investment possible through enterprise mobility because they do not have a clear understanding of what they are trying to accomplish.

* Third, improving the user experience must be a primary goal. Enterprise mobility is a complex topic, but it boils down to one thing: user productivity. Every facet of the mobile user experience must be accounted for, from on-boarding to app delivery to access and data manipulation. It is all about helping users work smarter and making personal and business activities coexist as seamlessly as possible. Related to this, companies need to define and measure a new mobile service-level agreement that the team will be held to. It should include users' ability to access to data and apps quickly, the use of a wide variety of platforms and the capability to access data from anywhere. [Also see: "A sampling of BYOD user policies"]

* Finally, companies must keep the lines of communication open. One of the worst things that can happen once an enterprise mobility group is created is to allow the team to operate in a vacuum. As previously discussed, mobility crosses over the various divisions within a traditional IT infrastructure. As such, it is imperative that the enterprise mobility group maintains a close working relationship with the rest of IT. It will be difficult for them to effectively do their job if they do not.

In closing, companies seeking a competitive advantage must look toward innovation. It is also important to understand that many companies are already exploring how they can innovatively leverage enterprise mobility. Thus, the companies that figure out quickly the benefits of creating a dedicated team to manage enterprise mobility will have an important head start.


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